Monday, February 5, 2018

Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks... Oh My!

Ahhh Spring is in the air. Okay. Not really!  Instead we are still covered under a foot thick white winter blanket of snow.  But that's okay.  We are nestled inside with our wood stove keeping the house toasty, making plans for the Spring.  Our lives start to get really busy in just a month here on our homestead!

One of the first things we looked into were which animals we wanted to add.  Right now we have ten goats, with at least three of our females bred.  The first doe is due to deliver the end of March.  We also have around 40 laying hens.  In March we will be adding two red wattle feeder pigs.  Also in March we are getting fifty Americauna chicks and five Polish chicks (one of five different breeds).  The Polish chicks, along with a couple other chickens we already have are "pets" and will be put to work in our garden.

The beginning of April we will be getting our first batch of broilers, as well as a Tufted Roman Gosling, a Black Swedish Duckling, and eight Buff Ducklings.  The goose will be a pet for one of the children, whose job will be to help protect our main flock.  The Black Swedish Duckling will also be a pet, and will be kept with the rest of our ducklings.  We are hoping for eggs and meat from them.  Our plan is to keep at least two females and a male at the end of the season, to possibly grow the flock for following years, depending on how it goes.

The end of April our second doe is due.  We will also be receiving fifteen Standard Bronze Turkeys.  We are super excited to try growing our own holiday birds! In addition, we will be getting our second batch of broilers.

I'll be trying my hand at gardening again this year as well.  Last year was semi-productive, but I am hoping for so much more!!!  I sat down this weekend and ordered what seeds I'll need from Bakers Creek.  We need to get our indoor greenhouses up, as I want to start a tray of celery and cabbages the end of THIS month!  Hard to believe it is about time already!  I also ordered strawberry plants, which will be going in the front of the area that will eventually become our orchard.  Looking forward to our first fruits in a couple years!